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Smithsonian's Arts + Industries Building

Washington, DC | http://www.aib.si.edu
Joined in October 2019

About Us

The Smithsonian’s Arts + Industries Building opened in 1881 as America’s first National Museum. Called the “Palace of Invention” or the “Mother of Museums,” it is the Smithsonian’s second-oldest building on the National Mall. Designed as a grand experiment, AIB showcased the latest ideas that were about to change the world—Thomas Edison’s lightbulb, Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone, Apollo rockets—and incubated almost every other Smithsonian collection. Lying dormant since 2004, AIB is now being reenergized as the Smithsonian’s home for future thinking and will pilot experimental programs and exhibitions for its eventual reopening.

The Smithsonian’s Arts + Industries Building opened in 1881 as America’s first National Museum. Called the “Palace of Invention” or the “Mother of Museums,” it is the Smithsonian’s second-oldest building on the National Mall. Designed as a grand…

Issue Areas Include

  • Arts & Music
  • Civic Engagement
  • Education
  • Science & Technology

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